Author Topic: optimum add-on cards for 2-slot systems (Talos II Lite and Blackbird)  (Read 57 times)

pocock

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I've had some discussions with other developers about the POWER9 platform and one observation I've made is that people are looking at a choice between Talos II Lite or Blackbird.  Many don't need a dual CPU system and can't afford the full Talos II.

To iron out bugs in software, it is really vital to have a critical mass of developers using the platform and I suspect most of them are going to use either Talos II Lite or Blackbird.  When they narrow their choice down to those products, the next thing that comes to mind is: what should they put in the PCIe slots to get best use out of their workstation?

The wiki contains a large list of compatible products but what I'm really thinking about here is making a shortlist of five to ten really interesting products and putting them on the comparison page

Here is a summary of the problem:
 
  • most people will want to put a GPU in the x16 slot - some GPUs, like the Radeon Pro W5700 throw in a USB-C socket or some other bonus which is really useful on a system like this with limited expansion slots
  • with the x8 slot, most people will probably want a card that can give them some combination of SSDs (U.2 NVMe), legacy SATA disks and hopefully some other ports like OCuLink or ethernet on the same board as a bonus.  Can anybody comment on which boards are optimal in this scenario?

Some other permutations come to mind: for example, people who don't do a lot of graphics may be happy with a GPU in the x8 slot and use the x16 slot for OCuLink.  Hopefully we will also see some external OCuLink GPUs in the future but none seem to be available right now.

Feel free to add comments here or at the bottom of this wiki page
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